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Friday, October 29, 2021

11 company directors in Mitra funds probe released on bail - lawyer

The MACC has failed to secure a remand extension against 11 of 17 company directors arrested on suspicion of involvement in the misappropriation of funds of the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra), according to a lawyer.

Lawyer Asheeq Ali, who represented one of the directors, told Malaysiakini the 11 were released on bail by the Putrajaya Magistrate's Court where the MACC had applied for a seven-day extension to their four-day remand.

"Twelve suspects were taken to the Putrajaya Magistrate's Court today and eleven was freed on bail of between RM5,000 and RM8,000 each.

"Only one of the suspects had their remand extended for four days," Asheeq said.

He added that five other suspects could have been released earlier.

The MACC had on Tuesday reportedly arrested 17 company directors in a massive operation around the Klang Valley.

Asheeq said he had, together with lawyer Harshaan Zamani, argued that their client was in no way involved in the alleged abuse of Mitra funds, in his capacity as programme coordinator for an organisation that received the funds.

"Therefore, the MACC's application for remand extension is without merit. Our client also suffers from a serious health condition.

"Given our client's health condition and taking into consideration his willingness to cooperate with MACC's investigations, the court had rejected the remand extension application and ordered our client to be released on RM5,000 bail with one surety," he added.

Bernama previously quoted sources who estimated that tens of millions of ringgit had been allegedly misused by the group through their applications for Mitra grants to organise socio-economic programmes for the Indian community.

The investigation into the case would reportedly cover all the applications and spending of the funds channelled by Mitra since 2018 to date.

MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki said the case was being investigated under Section 16(a) and Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009. - Mkini

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